[Windows] Continious screen install/uninstall when turning off amp
Hi guys,

I have an annoying not-really-xbmc-related issue with my screen setup on Windows 7 ultimate (64bit). I have two GeForce 8800 cards with newest drivers. All the other chipset drivers are up to date. The cards drive three HD Samsung LED computer monitors and my Sony LCD TV which is connected through a Sony HT-AS5 home theatre using a 10m HDMI cable. This works perfectly well.

The problem is that when I turn off my TV my computer uninstalls the TV display, like it would a USB external drive, plug 'n play. My TV uses the first output on the first videocard which makes it display number 1. This is necessary for audio output over HDMI, moving it to the second DVI head mutes the sound. Moving it to the second Geforce and making it display 3 doesn't really solve the problem. Evey time I turn off my TV my monitors flicker twice because of the uninstall; once when the TV is turned off, and a second time when the amp notices TV being off and powers off itself. When that happens, Windows uninstalls my display, shifting everything somehow. I don't know how, because my TV wallpaper lands on my center screen, en other two screens switch wallpaper... Moving display 1 all the way to the right doesn't resolve the shifting issue (they're all connected sequentially, 1,2 are on the first card, 3 & 4 on the second card and they're arranged the same, TV being behind me).

This is very annoying. I could live with the flicker and maybe even with the wallpaper, but moving my windows sucks. Does anyone have ANY idea how to solve it? A way to force the monitor of staying installed, even with the HDMI signal being dead when turning off the amp? Something in the BIOS maybe? Weird thing is that if I plug it directly into my TV, 'skipping' the amp, all this doesn't happen. But since audio return channel won't work for some reason, I don't get sound on my amp (arc does work with other equipment)

I would appreciate any input. Thnx in advance.

It sounds like your amp actually kills the HDMI connection when it's turned off. Windows think's you've unplugged the screen, so automatically reassigns the displays. Short of using another device between the PC and the amp, I'm not sure there is a solution.

Most devices will still allow display detection even when turned off, which is why it doesn't happen when you plug it straight into the TV.

I suggest battling a bit harder to get the audio passthrough from the TV working.
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Does your AMP support HDMI passthrough? If it does this could be a solution but means the AMP will use a bit more power when in standby. There might be a return signal from the AMP to the PC but I don't know this for sure.

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Thank you numb7rs, I'll check if I can get it working with my pc. I think it's weird that it works with my PS3 which is plugged in directly into the TV, and it doesn't work with the PC. Maybe I haven't tried hard enough (just tested it briefly yesterday), so I hope you're right. I'll try re-installing the realtek audio driver once I re-plugged the devices.

Hi DavidT99, thank you. HDMI pass-through is supported, enabled and working. When I'm watching TV and switch off the amp I get sound and video on my TV from devices connected to the AMP. When I'm watching XBMC content and switch off the amp the PC does not uninstall the display (so you're right) BUT it still shifts my wallpaper when I turn off my TV... Sad It's like the amp notices TV being off, and kills the signal, like numb7rs said, and this regardless the pass-through setting.

I'm thinking (just now actually) of turning off HDMI control / Bravia Sync, so that the amp doesn't 'know' about the TV being off, but this means losing a lot of functionality. The components play together very well, and if I want to switch from XBMC/PC to Xbox or PS3 I just need to turn it on. The TV and amp adjust their inputs accordingly, which, besides being just very cool, is also pretty useful. :S

My last hope is to find a tool to force the TV to stay installed at all times, make it remember the settings somehow... :S


Ok, I think I got it...

Because I had my TV audio output set to Audio System my amp would turn on by itself when switching on the TV. But the amp and the TV are two different devices. So the flicker was not really from uninstalling the display (which by the way does not disappear in nVidia's display manager nor in the windows device manager, I noticed) as it was from switching displays.
All I had to do was disable HDMI control/Bravia sync on the amp, so that it would not turn on, power on the TV, let it 'install' and position the display (essentially it was 2,3,4,1 with amp off/tv on and passthrough active and 1,2,3,4 with amp on/tv on). Because I always let my TV switch on the amp, I did not have enough time between the 'installs' to notice that the TV was sitting way on the right, and the actual amp on the left.

I'm happy now. It still flickers, twice, but nothing shifts anymore regardless what I do and in what sequence. :-)

Thank you for your help guys!



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